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British holidaymaker dies from blood clot after injuring leg in fall from horse in Turkey


A young woman from Scotland has died following complications after a Holiday Accident which involved falling from a horse on holiday in Turkey.

Louise Carolan, 26, from Edinburgh had gone on a family holiday to Turkey in August and decided to go horse-riding. She fell from her mount and hurt her knee, but appeared to have no other injury and was told by A&E on returning home that she had torn ligaments.

Days later she collapsed while out shopping with a friend and doctors found a blood clot on her lung, which had been caused by the impact of the fall.

Ms Carolan was admitted to intensive care at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, where she died after her life support was turned off.

Her brother Graeme Carolan, 22, was flown from the frontline in Helmand, Afghanistan to be with her before she died and arrived at the hospital still in his combat clothes. The wing flaps on his aircraft also jammed and the plane had to circle Edinburgh Airport before being able to land.

Ms Carolan worked at St Columba’s Hospice in Granton – her parents Gary and Christine Carolan described their daughter as “loving and giving”.

Ms Carolan had only agreed to take a holiday after her 10-year-old pet died – it was her love of animals that made her decide to go horse-riding on holiday, her family said.

Mr Carolan said:

“She took a fall from the horse and hurt her knee. She was hobbling around for a couple of days and when we got home I took her to the A&E department at the Western General, where they said she had torn ligaments and to strap it up and use Ibuprofen.

"On the Sunday, we got a phone call when she was shopping with her friend at the Gyle. She had collapsed and the paramedics said they didn't like the sound of her heart.”

The family dashed to the hospital thinking their daughter might be suffering from a Holiday Illness caught whilst abroad.

“When they got to the Western they found a blood clot on her lung, induced by the fall, and this caused a cardiac arrest,” said Mr Carolan, who added it was a “phenomenal shock” when the family was told to expect the worst and to prepare to say their goodbyes.

"There were nine doctors around her doing CPR. They detected a pulse and took her up to the ICU, where she was on a ventilator.”

The family stayed at Louise’s bedside talking to her, in the hope she would regain consciousness – but 72 hours after her collapse, doctors advised the family that Louise might have suffered brain damage as a result of lack of oxygen to the brain.

Doctors carried out a brain scan and the decision to turn off life support was taken. Ms Carolan died shortly afterwards.

If you have suffered an accident whilst on holiday abroad, you can contact Simpson Millar’s experienced Holiday Accident Compensation Claims Team on 0808 145 1351 for free advice. Alternatively, complete the attached enquiry form and contact us by email for advice.

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Dated: 02/12/2011